Wednesday, August 31, 2011

'See' Salt...and Reduce Your Daily Intake! OMNI Medical Center 's 5 Tips for Lowering Sodium Consumption

Many of us know that too much sodium can be a bad thing...Among other things, too much salt in your diet can cause you to retain water, which can in turn delay your weight loss results if you're trying to shed those extra pounds.

The recommended daily intake of sodium for healthy Americans is currently 2,300 mg and 1,500 mg for "at-risk" individuals (such as people living with Hypertension). Unfortunately, many of us aren't aware that just one frozen meal (or TV dinner) packs in almost 1,000 mg...that's nearly half of your recommended intake for the day in just one meal (and excluding your snacks)! 

The bad news...the average American consumes 3,000-6,000 mg of salt in a day (which is why our OMNI Medical Center wellness consultants do not allow frozen meals)!
The good news, however, is that reducing your sodium consumption can also help lower your blood pressure, which can also decrease your risk of heart disease.
With that in mind, here are 5 helpful ways OMNI Medical Center recommends you do in order to lower your salt intake, and increase your weight loss:

1. Remove the salt shaker from your dinner table. You may think you are just sprinkling a little salt on, but before you know it you have added a day's worth of sodium. Without it in reach, you won't give yourself the option. 

2. Reduce your intake of processed and pre-prepared foods. Sodium is added to packaged, canned and frozen foods, not just for flavor but also as a preservative, keeping the food shelf-stable for a longer period of time. Make sure to take time in the supermarket to check food labels for words like "low-sodium," "no salt added" and "low salt" on canned and packaged items, such as canned broth and soups, canned vegetables, prepared frozen dinners and cold cuts.

3. Start reading the sodium content on the nutrition facts labels of the foods you buy/eat. This is the best way to be aware of how much sodium you are eating while paying special attention to serving size. 

4. If you can help it, steer clear of processed foods and choose fresh instead. This can drastically decrease your sodium intake. Fresh meats, legumes, unsalted nuts, dairy, fruits and vegetables all contain very little sodium, therefore making them wise choices in a low sodium diet.

5. If and when you are using canned products (such as beans), make sure to choose the reduced or low-sodium versions. If these are not available, you can also reduce their sodium by up to 40%  rinsing and draining the beans in a colander before eating them.

Because monitoring our daily intake of salt is an important factor in maintaining good health long term, we must always remember moderation is key. 
By incorporating a few of these easy steps from OMNI Medical Center, you will be on your way to spot hidden sodium so that it does not wreck havoc on your health any longer, and doesn't hinder your weight loss results.

For more nutrition ideas or information about the OMNI Medical Center weight loss program check out:

Here's to smaller portions of sodium-filled food, and larger weight loss results when you step on the scale!
--The OMNI Medical Center Team

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